Increased drilling of infill wells in the Bakken has led to growing concern over the effects of frac or fracture hits between parent and infill wells. Fracture hits can cause decreased production in a parent well, as well as other negative effects such as wellbore sanding, casing damage, and reduced production performance from the infill well. An operator had an objective to maximize production of infill wells and decrease the frequency and severity of frac hits to parent wells. The goal was to maintain production of the parent wells and avoid sanding, which had the potential to cause cleanouts.

Infill well completion technologies were successfully implemented on multiwell pads in Mountrail County, Williston basin, to minimize parent-child well interference or negative frac hits on parent wells for optimized production. Four infill (child) wells were landed in the Three Forks formation directly below a group of six parent wells landed in the Middle Bakken. The infill well completion technologies used in this project to mitigate frac hits included far-field diverter, near-wellbore diverter, and real-time pressure monitoring.

The far-field diverter design includes a blend of multimodal particles to bridge the fracture tip, preventing excessive fracture length and height growth. The near-wellbore diverter consists of a proprietary blend of degradable particles with a tetra modal size distribution and fibers used to achieve sequential stimulation of perforated clusters to maximize wellbore coverage. Hydraulic fracture modeling with a unique advanced particle transport model was used to predict the impact of the far-field diverter design on fracture geometry.

Real-time pressure monitoring allowed acquisition of parent well pressure data to identify pressure communication or lack of communication and implement mitigation and contingency procedures as necessary. Real-time pressure monitoring was also used to optimize and validate the far-field diversion design during the job execution. The parent well monitored was 800 ft away from the closest infill well and at high risk for frac hits due to both the proximity to the infill well and depletion. In the early stages of the infill well stimulation, an increase in pressure up to 600 psi was observed in the parent well. The far-field diverter design was modified to combat the observed frac hit, after which a noticeable drop in both frequency and magnitude of frac hits was observed on the parent well. This is the first time the far-field diverter design optimization process was done in real time.

After the infill wells stimulation treatment, production results showed a positive uplift in oil production for all parent wells at an average of 118%. Also, only two out of seven parent wells required a full cleanout, resulting in savings in well cleanup costs. Infill well production data was compared with the closest parent well landed in the same formation (Three Forks). At about a year, the best infill well production was only 10% less than the parent well with similar completion design and the average infill well production approximately 18% less than the parent well. Considering the depletion surrounding the infill wells, production performance exceeded expectations.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.